Fall is in the air! Temperatures are cooler, sunsets are spectacular, and pumpkin-flavored treats abound. Football games have started, and we’re all settling into our school routines.

Fall is a lot of fun, but also a serious time of year for students and parents. The mid-term period ended Sept. 30, and the first report cards will come out after the grading period ends Nov. 2. These reports are the first indications of how well your students are performing in all subjects and whether they are behaving appropriately and attending classes on time.

If there are any areas of concern or anything occurring at home that might have an impact on your child’s school experience, please make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher(s) virtually or by phone. Having parents and teachers on the same team benefits the child!

I also want to encourage you to participate in Open Houses, which will be held virtually because of the pandemic. The dates are:

• Elementary – October 5-8

• Middle – October 12-15

• High – October 19-22

There are some other new opportunities this school year as we adjust to new ways of learning. Sixty percent of our students are back to school in the Traditional Classroom, while 40% are attending virtually, through Volusia Live or Volusia Online Learning.

As we spend more time at home, students now have access to a wide variety of eBooks! The new, district-wide eBook shelf is available by signing into VPortal and selecting the green Follett Destiny app. Students can search for eBooks and read on their devices. For phones and iPads there is a Destiny Discover app (look for a book with a bookmark in the Apple and Google Play stores). Once the app has been downloaded, students will choose their state (Florida) and type in the name of their school. They will click on Single Sign On (SSO) and sign in just as they would a computer on their campus.

Because large gatherings are not possible, we are participating in the virtual College and Career Expo with more than 600 colleges and universities. These National Association for College Admission Counseling Meet-Ups for high school junior and seniors are free, with dates this fall including 1-9 p.m. Oct. 12, noon-8 p.m. Oct. 18, and 2-10 p.m. Nov. 8. Sign up at www.virtualcollegefairs.org.

I also want to make sure you are aware the USDA has extended the meal program that allows all children in schools and the community to eat for free through Dec. 18. Students attending in-person classes receive their breakfast and lunch meals at no charge. Additionally, a free, weekly curbside meal service is being provided for children not attending in-person classes. Families arrange for curbside meal service by registering weekly through our website, www.VCSEDU.org.

Thank you for being flexible as we navigate this unusual school year. I appreciate your support and commend your children for their positive, can-do attitudes and readiness to learn. The reopening has shown us in so many ways Together, We Are Stronger. Keep up the great work!